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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Could it have been different?

So it's basically a worst case scenario. Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid.

Could it have been different?

Certainly, when House candidates' best arguments are "My mistress is lying when she said I strangled her" and "I'm an alcoholic who was abused by a priest" those particular races are trouble, but this election was worse than this or that race. It was a blowout.

H.L. Mencken said something to the effect of "In a democracy, you get the government you deserve, usually good and hard." In economics (and formal, or theoretical, political science) there is the "median voter theorem." That is, the median voter is the voter in which half the voters are to his left and half to his right, and almost every quasi democratic election system has the preferences of this voter ruling.

So in this election, a lot of our losers were chumps that deserved to lose (and a lot weren't). But a lot of their winners are complete idiots who deserved to lose as well, but they won. The people chose their idiots over our idiots, and in many cases, their idiots over our good candidates. So I'm not at all sure that if we simply reform and put up better candidates, we will do dramatically better.

The Northeast has become more liberal. Minnesota has become more liberal. Iowa has moved left. Ohio, Missouri and Virginia have moved left. Overall, I'm not seeing a lot of silver linings, only the need to move the median voter back to the right, as opposed to trying this or that tactic.

Blogger festivus said...

Well said, Pencil. My big silver lining for the evening was Dean Johnson going down, but we lost some good guys - Wilkin, LeClair, Krinkie.

The reason for this is clear, and it wasn't Iraq (although that helped). It's that Republicans forgot how to be Republicans. When they act tough, they win. When they don't, you get last night.

My fear is that the lesson they will learn is "act more like moderates, since that's a big reason we lost a lot of seats. The Democrats recruited people who were more moderate to run against our guys." Instead the intepretation should be "The Dems recruited people who were more conservative."

8:01 AM, November 08, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

It could have been a lot worse. Instead of people like Jim Webb and Heath Schuler winning it could have been a liberal wave. It wasn't. The Dems went Red to win this election. Contrast that with 1994, where many of the Republican winners were much more conservative.

The country has been divided since the 2000 elections. The Kettle was bubbling over. Republicans had been in power too long and got to old and stale. That is why Republicans lost.

It's kind of a relief, I can go back and start repeating great Reagan rhetoric again such as the government (Dems) is sticking its hand in my pocket without feeling like a hypocrite.

9:16 AM, November 08, 2006  

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